Fugitive charters helicopter to turn himself in
A fugitive in New Zealand chartered a helicopter to surrender himself to police officers on Thursday.
The man, who faces multiple criminal charges, was on the run for 58 days in a rural area on the country’s South Island, his legal adviser, Hazel Heal, told CNN.
The fugitive flew from his hideout to the town of Dunedin.
The man, who cannot be identified because he has been granted name suppression by the court, spoke about his time on the run to journalists, including reporters from local outlet “Stuff,” as they waited for him outside the police station.
“It was real good, I did a lot of yoga. You can’t really see it on my physique but yeah, no it’s been good,” he said.
He described the area he hid in as the “middle of nowhere,” on “the rural side of the forest.”
Heal would not comment on the charges her client faces.
A spokesperson for New Zealand police told CNN on Friday that “a 32-year-old male handed himself into the Dunedin Police Station yesterday afternoon.”
The spokesperson added that the man was “due to appear in the Dunedin District Court (on Friday) on several charges including wounding with intent to injure.”
Heal told CNN that chartered helicopters were often used in this rural area, particularly by local deer-hunters.
The man grew a beard during his time in hiding.
When it was suggested by a reporter that police might not recognize him due to the beard growth, the man agreed and said “yeah, no, been up in the hills for a bit, you know.”
Heal said her client made the decision to turn himself in after seeing local media reports that described him as “dangerous” and a “wanted fugitive.”
She also said he opted for a helicopter to deal with the issue without drama and paid for it with his own credit card. Heal collected him in the helicopter and flew with him to Dunedin.
The man remains in police custody.
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